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Build-A-Story: Lost my job--what do I do all day?

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I spent a few hours yesterday at an unemployment center in Northern Virginia, mostly taking in the scene. It’s what you’d expect. People slumped in plastic chairs, waiting for their names to be called. Lines formed in front of computer screens as people scroll through job listings. On a television off to the side, an informational video showed a man saying all the wrong things during a job interview.

It was a random day in the middle of the week, and the waiting room was full.

Even as the economy shows some improvement, many people in the region and across the country remain unemployed and enter the holiday season with no job prospects. Because of this, we are launching a project that we hope will show how the grim job market has altered routines and perspectives.

We are looking for people who have recently lost their jobs and who would be willing to keep a diary for three days. We want to hear the details of how your mornings, afternoons and nights have changed since becoming unemployed. What do you do now that you didn't when you were working? What do you no longer do that was important to your life and routine previously?

If this applies to you, or if you know someone who would want to participate, please email me here. We're expecting to write a story about what we learn from the diaries, and we will post your diaries directly here on If you think you might want to participate, or just have questions, please email or post to the comment board below.

By Theresa Vargas  | December 3, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  Build-A-Story  
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